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Our Research

This list features some of the best online schools in Arkansas. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

College accreditation provides assurance that the college you’re considering meets high academic standards. Most colleges on our list were evaluated by the Higher Learning Commission, which regulates universities and colleges in Arkansas together with 18 other states. The Higher Learning Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Arkansas

Best Online Colleges in Arkansas Badge

Arkansas State University

University of Arkansas

Harding University

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

University of Central Arkansas

John Brown University

Arkansas Tech University

Ouachita Baptist University

Ecclesia College

Williams Baptist University

Southern Arkansas University

University of Arkansas Fort Smith

Henderson State University

University of Arkansas at Monticello

Central Baptist College

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

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Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Arkansas

Does Arkansas have good online colleges and universities?

Arkansas offers a wide range of online degree options that stand out for their high quality. For example, U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas as the No. 35 school in the country for best online bachelor’s degree programs and No. 12 for best online bachelor’s in business programs. The state also offers numerous online graduate degree options.

That said, there are many excellent online college programs available in other states as well. If you’re open to attending a school that’s located in another state, check out our guide to the best accredited online colleges. In addition to showing you the top 30 options in the entire United States for remote learning, this guide offers expert advice on how to choose a college and complete the application process.

Do online college credits in Arkansas cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some colleges offer discounted rates for online courses regardless of where you live, whereas others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. In Arkansas, in-state and out-of-state students tend to pay the same tuition for online degree programs. For instance, at University of Arkansas, all online students pay in-state tuition fees, regardless of where they live. This easily saves you thousands of dollars as an out-of-state student.

Why should you choose Arkansas for online higher education?

Arkansas’s programs are unique for their affordability. The combination of flexible online classes at a reasonable price could be a good fit if you want a solid education and affordable tuition.

The Cost of Online College in Arkansas

How much does an online degree in Arkansas cost?

The cost of an online degree in Arkansas depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you choose to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you may find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save a lot of money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the current rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Arkansas below:

Most affordable online college in Arkansas: Arkansas State University, $269 per credit

Most expensive online college in Arkansas: Arkansas Tech University, $485 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Arkansas to get in-state tuition rates?

Arkansas has one of the shortest residency periods of any state in the U.S. You typically qualify as an in-state resident once you have lived in Arkansas for at least six continuous months. The state also participates in several reciprocity agreement programs, including the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) Academic Common Market, which enables residents of southern states to pay in-state tuition at institutions located in the south.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Arkansas?

The state of Arkansas offers several ways to reduce your tuition costs. One is through the aforementioned Academic Common Market program, which gives you access to in-state tuition at most public colleges and universities in Arkansas and other SREB states (Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia).

It’s also worth noting that you should submit your FAFSA application to see if you are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and other financial aid awards.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Arkansas

In addition to the Academic Common Market and YOUniversal, there are a number of other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on financial need, whereas others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent financial aid options for you below:

National Rice Month Scholarship Contest

Arkansas is the top rice-producing state in the country, accounting for more than 40% of America’s rice production. It’s fitting, then, that students from one of the six primary rice-growing states can compete to earn up to $5,000 in scholarship funding. To enter, you must create an original video about U.S.-grown rice that’s no longer than three minutes.

Who’s eligible? Graduating high school students from a high school in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, or Texas who have not previously won the rice contest.

Contact information: Online form | 703-236-2300

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Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund

The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund offers a variety of scholarships for single parents living in Arkansas. The aim is to help break the cycle of poverty and ensure that single parents gain skills and knowledge that translate into a sustainable career.

Who’s eligible? Single parents living in Arkansas or Bowie County, Texas. You must be the custodial parent of a dependent child and have a cumulative high school/community college GPA of at least 2.0.

Contact information: Online form | 479-927-1402

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Cornerstone Charitable Scholarship Trust, Inc.

This scholarship provides grant funding to Black/African American students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The dollar amount varies.

Who’s eligible? Black/African American students ages 17 to 25 with roots in the state of Arkansas and demonstrated financial need.

Contact information: [email protected]

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Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship

Sponsored by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, this scholarship provides up to $5,000 to students at four-year universities and up to $3,000 to students at two-year community colleges in Arkansas.

Who’s eligible? Students attending a college or university in Arkansas.

Contact information: [email protected] | 501-371-2000

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Top 5 Fast-Growing Industries in Arkansas

If you’re still in the process of assessing your college options, you may also be undecided on your major. When selecting a major, one of the most important factors to consider is your future employability. Thinking about which industries and careers are growing the fastest in Arkansas can make it easier to find a job, and being in demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the Arkansas Long-Term Occupational Projections (2020-2030), we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest growth rates in Arkansas:

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in diagnosing and treating patients, with an emphasis on preventative care and health education. They are quickly becoming many Americans’ preferred primary care professionals. NPs tend to be well-compensated; in Arkansas, they earn an average salary of $107,110.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) specialize in treating speech impediments and other issues that arise related to the mouth and throat area, including chewing and swallowing food. Demand for SLP services is expected to rise greatly in Arkansas and across the country, largely due to the aging population and prevalence of health issues such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, which can impair speech and eating skills. In Arkansas, SLPs make an average annual salary of $79,240.

  • Projected growth: 38.4%
  • Degree options: Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology

Personal Care Aides

As Arkansas’s population ages and chronic and acute medical conditions become more prevalent, the state is in increasing need of personal care aides to assist patients, often older adults or disabled people, with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In Arkansas, personal care aides make an average annual salary of $26,680.

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Market research analysts and marketing specialists use data to understand consumer preferences and tailor a company’s marketing campaigns to what will bring the greatest return on investment. In Arkansas, market research analysts and marketing specialists make an average salary of $75,990.

Software Developers and Testers

As governments, companies, and individuals become ever more reliant on web-based technologies, it’s no surprise that the skills of software developers, especially app developers, are in high demand. Salaries in this field tend to be quite high — in Arkansas, software developers earn an average salary of $87,380.

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